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Duplicating a drive - Host tells me I must reinstall all my apps
Isn't there an easier way?

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3859642 posted 3:04 am on Feb 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

We have been experiencing some drive problems lately. We have had two corrupt disk failures in the last 45 days. Each time it cripples our server until we can have FCSK run to fix the disk.

My host is recommending I get a new drive. Sounds like a good idea to me, but they are telling me I need to reinstall all my applications on a new disk, then load all my data and then swap the disks.

Isn't there an easier way? Can't I ghost copy the drive and then just swap them?

I have so many customized apps on this server that it would take me weeks to get it setup and working again on a new drive if I had to reinstall everything. So much testing involved.

Thanks for any advice. I'm hoping there is an easier route. But if not, I'll get started on reinstalling. ;-)



WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3859642 posted 7:47 pm on Feb 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Nevermind. My ISP is saying they cannot do it. The free software g4u is not compatible with the hardware structure of the server. It supports the older systems and they don't use any third party software such as Norton or symantec Ghost.

[edited by: eelixduppy at 6:46 pm (utc) on Mar. 1, 2009]


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3859642 posted 4:20 am on Mar 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes, in Windows you can mirror the drive with Ghost. You might need a third drive though -- make a mirror backup of the old drive, then restore the mirror onto the new one.

In Linux, you can mirror directly from one drive to another, but you need to know how to reinstall the bootloader onto the new drive.

But it's not unusual for the host to have no experience with either method.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3859642 posted 7:35 am on Mar 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am rather stunned that you would stay with a hosting provider that lacks the expertise to simply backup & restore or just clone a drive. You should never have to reinstall everything if proper backups are being run.

Worst case it would take less than 30 minutes to either backup the primary drive & restore it to a new drive or just clone the drive.

Going forward, you should consider having a hot spare that is updated nightly. That will significantly reduce downtime to 10 minutes or less or at least limit a major catastrophe. Moving to a hosting provider with properly trained admins would be a good way to reduce stress for the rest of the year too.


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Msg#: 3859642 posted 12:20 pm on Mar 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

You do have a dev copy of your site on your work system(s), correct? If not, might want to implement that! I have the active host and a mirror on a personal machine, AND and dev machine where I piddle and play... three copies... and at anytime my host is not up to snuff it's merely a matter of uploading to another and redirecting the DNS. Certainly not as elegant as a BACKUP on the HOST, but I'm a Belt AND Suspenders kind of guy. :)

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